The smartphone market in India crossed the 30 million unit shipments milestone for the first time ever in a quarter in third quarter of 2016 maintaining its healthy traction with 11 percent year-on-year growth as Samsung leads in terms of marketshare, a report by IDC showed.
The Korean handset-maker has 23% of the market with 8% sequential growth and 9.7% growth corresponding to the same period last year. “Despite the recall of Samsung’s flagship Note 7, multiple new launches across both offline and online channels added onto the its strong portfolio helped vendor to grow at a healthy rate in the third quarter. J2 continues to be a key contributor for Samsung,” the report explained.
While the Lenovo Group (including Motorola) climbed to second place with 9.6 percent share of smartphones, Indian handset-maker Micromax slipped to the third spot with a massive 32% decline in smartphone shipments over the previous quarter.
“Lenovo Group’s shipment spiked in the quarter with growth of 46.1% over previous quarter. Motorola’s volume almost doubled quarter-on-quarter driven by newly launched E3 Power and G4 models. K5 series continues to be lead runner for Lenovo accounting for over 40% of its total volume,” the report explains adding that Micromax’s decline can be attributed to the vendor “facing tremendous pressure from other local vendors in sub $100 segment and with Chinese players in $100-150.”
Chinese handset-maker Xiaomi moved to the fourth spot followed by Reliance Jio which held on to the fifth spot. “With primary focus on online and minimalistic product portfolio, Xiaomi has grown more than 2.5 times over the same period last year. As the vendor plans to expand its footprint in the offline channel, competition is likely to get intense in Indian smartphone market,” the report shows adding that “LYF branded smartphones saw a sharp demand with reports of stock outs at some locations. Apart from its entry level Flame series, Water series also contributed to the growth in the quarter.”
However, as per the report, the total unit shipments was clocked at 32.3 million units with a 17% growth when compared to the corresponding period last year. “This seasonal spike in third quarter of the year can be attributed to the channel preparation for the festive season, mega online sales and early import of smartphones owing to Chinese holidays in October” Karthik J, senior market analyst, client devices, IDC India, said.
Karthik also said that online share of smartphone increased to 31.6% with a 35% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) growth due to strong performance by key online players primarily from China-based vendors.
“4G smartphone shipments grew 24.8% over the previous quarter. The roll out of Reliance Jio network has further increased the share of 4G enabled smartphones in India. Nearly 7 out of 10 smartphone shipped in Q3 2016 were 4G enabled and 9 out of 10 smartphone sold by eTailers were 4G,” Karthik said.
The report also claimed that the overall mobile phone market shipments closed at 72.3 million units with an 18.1% sequential growth.Feature phones registered 39.9 million units with a healthy 18.6% quarter-over-quarter growth.
However, feature phones market declined at 12.4%, according to the report, over the same period last year, pulling down the overall mobile phone shipments marginally by 3.3%.
“Mobile vendor ecosystem is going through a multi-dimensional transition. Continuous investment from China based vendors on retail expansion and high decibel marketing has led to disruption in the plans of home-grown vendors to some extent. To remain relevant, home-grown vendors are counting on the feature phone market even though they are facing certain supply issues for a few components” Jaipal Singh, market analyst, client devices, IDC India, said.
“Also, vendors are relooking at the channel strategy by getting lower tier distributors on-board, positioning more staff at storefronts and adopting the right mix of products in both online and offline channels” Singh added.